GAM threatens to create trouble in Jakarta
BANDA ACEH, Aceh (JP): Resolute rebel group Free Aceh Movement (GAM) has threatened to create trouble nationwide if the joint police and military operation to restore order in the province continues.
Aceh-based GAM commander Abdullah Syafiie said in a statement issued on Thursday that his troops would fight to defend themselves from the security operation to be conducted by some 2,000 troops.
""If the troops are deployed, there is no other way for GAM but to fight and defend our country and people. GAM will create chaos all over the country, and then let's see what happens in Jakarta,"" Abdullah said.
""We do not want to incite war, but if we are pressed against the wall we will have no other choice but to fight.""
The warning came amid the ongoing peace talks between the Indonesian government and separatist rebels in Switzerland. An extension to the shaky cease-fire which expired on Thursday looks to be the most likely result of the talks.
The National Police have announced a plan to proceed with the Cinta Meunasah II operation which will involve reinforcement troops to restore law and order in Aceh as soon as the previous operation ends on Sunday.
A spokesman for the operation, Sr. Comr. Kusbini Imbar, said on Friday the deployment of troops was routine.
""Fresh troops will replace the existing personnel and maybe also be deployed to other parts of the province,"" he told The Jakarta Post by phone from Banda Aceh.
He added that the second stage of the operation would involve one brigade of troops, or some 2,000 personnel.
There are currently 30,000 police and soldiers in Aceh. (edt/50)